Attracted by a weekend filled with sunshine and athletic fun, more than 700 racing circuit runners are expected to join the eighth annual Sombrero Beach Run scheduled for Saturday, March 1.
Runners and walkers from 28 U.S. states as well as international participants from Canada and Europe already have registered.
Proceeds for the popular "FUN-draising" event benefit Keys Area Interdenominational Resources, a Marathon-based nonprofit organization that provides food and emergency services to Keys families in need.
Co-sponsored by the Southernmost Runners Club, the 2014 weekend workout begins Friday, March 1, with a 5-6:30 p.m. registration kick-off party. Stocked with food, drinks, music and entertainment, the event is to be staged at Sombrero Beach at the end of Sombrero Beach Road, mile marker 50.
Walkers and runners also can register on site at 7 a.m. Saturday, March 1.
The 10k run starts at 8 a.m. and the 5k run/walk begins at 9:15 a.m.
Attractions on race day include food, beverages, raffle prizes, a fine art silent auction, music and fun in addition to a full slate of community and Keyswide events for attendees to enjoy. Awards are to be given to the overall male and female winners, and second-place overall finishers in the 10k run, 5k run and 5k walk. Awards include Keys resort stays, cash and experiences with local eco-attractions and watersports. An awards ceremony on the beach follows the race with a barbecue, drinks, music and warm sunshine.
Runners also can register in a 15k challenge that includes both the 10k and 5k events and makes them eligible for awards in both categories. All 15k finishers are to receive a custom hat.
Pre-registration for the 15k event is $35 per person or $40 on race day. Students age 18 and under and U.S. military personnel can enter for $15. For 10k and 5k participants, pre-registration is $25 and the race-day cost is $30. Students age 18 and under can enter for $10.
All participants can pre-register at active.com until 11:59 p.m. EST Feb. 27.
The first 500 registered participants are to receive a custom logo T-shirt and welcome bag.
Information on Marathon-area accommodations as well as the event's "Deals on Meals" component, where participants can show local participating restaurants their bib number and receive a special race discount, are listed on the event's official website at sombrerobeachrun.com or call 305-289-9868, or see Marathon visitor information: fla-keys.com/marathon or call 1-800-262-7284.